A team is a group of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose and hold themselves mutually accountable for its achievement. Ideally, they develop a distinct identity and work together in a coordinated and mutually supportive way to fulfil their goals or purpose. There should be coordinated effort and planned sharing of tasks evenly across the team. In defining the Characteristics of an effective team in any setting, but specifically in an Architectural Office or firm, four things are necessary: Trust, Mutual Respect, Helpfulness and Friendliness.
Effective teamwork results from:
- A team whose membership, size and resources match the task.
- Good leadership and attention to team-building.
- The commitment of its team members, identifying with one another’s goals.
- Development of team goals
- Sense of common ownership of the task at hand and joint responsibility for its achievement
- Honesty and frankness among team members
Effective Teamwork can be undermined by:
- Poor Communication
- Inadequate Procedures of Problem Solving
SELECTION OF TEAM MEMBERS
- Consider technical skills, knowledge and experience
- Consider the ability to coordinate actions and their interpersonal qualities
- Consider people who will work constructively with others with the willingness to grow and develop with the team
- Team members should be able to commit to shared goals
- Members should listen and respond to others in an objective and productive way
- Members should take on different roles in the group to accomplish shared objectives
- Members should be open and honest with values, ideas and concerns
- Members should avoid carrying hidden agendas into meetings
BENEFIT OF EFFECTIVE TEAMS:
- Individual Improvement: Improvement in participants’ confidence, attitude motivation and personal satisfaction. Early and continual feedback can be obtained thus increasing quality output.
- Clarity Improvement: Greater clarity when expressing ideas through group discussions and a wider range of ideas are likely to come up.
- Efficiency Improvement: Being one another’s encouragement. More efficient use of resources especially time thus decreasing project stalling. As a team, the highs are more motivating than working individually.
Celebrating with a teammate boosts morale, if alone; who are you going to ‘High Five’?
- Adaptability Improvement: There would be more effective responses to changes as more hands are on the project. Also, the lows of a project are less demoralizing as responsibility is shared.
TEAMWORK PROMOTING STRATEGIES
- Good Leadership: Lead by example. Create a positive and conducive environment. Motivate and inspire. Be supportive in any crisis situation.
- Encourage Input: Encourage suggestions and input from each team member. Do not degrade ideas or contributions.
- Delegate Responsibilities: Roles should be clearly defined and duties clearly assigned. There should equally be the willingness to cover for another in events of illnesses or emergencies.
- Conflict Resolution: Issues can be avoided in many cases. However, if this isn’t the case then a structured method of resolution is advised and should be done without prejudice. Fair hearing should be given to both parties.
- Set Good Examples: Exemplifying standards shouldn’t be limited to just team leaders, but to all members. This is a good stimulus for team spirit.
- Rewards and Recognition: R & R serves as high motivation for others to aim for success on their projects.
- Team Social Activities: It’s always a good idea to encourage bonding. Organize meets like Social Gatherings, Sports, Games etc.It is worthy to note however, that socializing in an office environment is not only interpreted as the management of relationships between staff members during work hours. It also defines activities deliberately put in place to enhance bonding and increase interpersonal relationships between staff or even clients. So why not turn around, socialise and share this with your team?